Did You Know? 1920's

April 26, 2022

The 1920s represented an era of change and growth in the United States. The decade was one of both learning and exploration and helped to establish America’s position in respect to the rest of the world, through its industry, inventions and creativity. Many Americans owned radios and telephones for the first time, as well as cars, which brought the need for better roadways. One particularly historic event was the passing of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ushering in the era of prohibition which expressly forbade the manufacture, sale and/or transportation of alcoholic beverages.

American culture, such as books, movies, and Broadway theater, was now being exported to the rest of the world. Also know as the Jazz Age, or “Roaring Twenties!”, the decade featured economic prosperity and carefree living for many before ending with a crash in 1929. In 1925, flappers found anew dance craze called the Charleston, and in 1927, The Jazz Singer became the first successful “talking” picture. In 1928, Mickey Mouse made his first appearance in the cartoon Steamboat Willie, and in 1929 Popeye first appeared in the comic strip Thimble Theater.

During this period, which spanned 1920 through 1929, Charles Lindbergh flew solo from New York to Paris, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, and a total of 54 students graduated from New Jersey State Normal School at Newark before the institution was renamed as Kean University in 1997.